Before coming to Sheridan House, my mom and I did not get along.  I would constantly raise my voice, roll my eyes, and refuse to do what she said.  My grades were D’s and F’s and my days at school were filled with arguments and drama.  My mom even sent me to 2 different boot camp programs…but I still acted the same.

When I first came to Sheridan House, I continued to be rude and disrespectful.  I was a mean, disobedient girl.  I felt that the world owed me everything.  I’d let my anger out on anyone who stood in my way.  What I failed to realize is that God wanted to use me; I just needed to allow Him to do so.  I just could not register that in my head.

Heaven (center) smiles proudly with her behavioral specialist Julianna (right) and house parents Tom and Kisha (right) on graduation day.

At first, my behavior at Sheridan House was not good.  I broke a lot of rules.  Like always, my school days were filled with drama.  I disrespected my teachers and peers.  I hung out with the wrong crowd, drew negative attention to myself, and continued to receive consequences for my behavior at Sheridan House.  While serving a consequence one day, I sat on the dining room floor for four hours refusing to do anything I was told.  My behavior was up and down like this throughout my 6th grade year at Sheridan House…It was a rough year.  My house parents and behavior specialist continued to try and help me even though I acted this way.

Seventh grade was a big step forward.  With help from my house parents and behavioral specialist, I discovered that my choices and behavior were pushing my family away from me and I didn’t want to lose them.  I realized that I needed to choose to respect my mom, teachers, and other authority figures in my life.  Another big change I made was finding new, positive friends.  It was hard for me, but I did it.  I have slowly become happy, loving, and respectful.  I also smile a whole lot more.  Now I help my mom with chores around the house, we go shopping together, and my grades are all A’s and B’s.

I thank God for this change in my life.  All my hard work has paid off.  The old has gone and the new has come.  As I graduate, I am going to miss Sheridan House.  I look forward to visiting Sheridan House as much as I can and even volunteering to tell my story to the girls in the residential program.  I learned that change begins in the heart.